Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Sunshine-sweet lemon blueberry layer cake dotted with juicy berries and topped with lush cream cheese frosting. One of the most popular cake recipes on this website!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

What on earth is a lusciously fruit-filled recipe like this doing on my kitchen table in February? I love the snow, but someone pass me a fork. I’m diving headfirst into this sunshine-sweet, springtime layer cake and not coming out until it’s April.

How to Make Lemon Blueberry Cake

  • Fresh lemons. Use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest in the cake batter. None of that lemon extract stuff! How to choose lemons at the store? Make sure the lemons you choose are smooth-skinned and heavy for their size. That way you know they are extra juicy.
  • Buttermilk. Known for providing exceptional moisture to baked goods, buttermilk leaves each bite tender and lush. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use whole milk instead.
  • Brown sugar & 4 eggs: I’ve found that lemon cakes can easily be dry and gritty, so add some moist-making ingredients like brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. Buttermilk, a little brown sugar, and 4 eggs assure the final product is as moist as it could possibly be without being wet.
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries: Fresh or frozen blueberries are OK. If using frozen, do not thaw.

I love this lemon blueberry cake because the blueberries DO NOT sink to the bottom of the cake. Why not? The batter is thick. When you have a thin batter, heavy fruit or add-ins will sink to the bottom. I also recommend tossing the blueberries in a little flour too– this is extra insurance they don’t sink!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!_-8

Sally's Baking Addiction | Delicious Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!

Sally's Baking Addiction | Delicious Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is moist and soft, somewhere between a vanilla layer cake and pound cake. Silky cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing touch– it literally tastes like spreadable cheesecake. The cream cheese frosting goes onto the cake so easily, so it’s a really simple cake to decorate. Doesn’t need to be neat– its haphazardness adds to its charm, don’t you think?

Decorate with blueberries, lemon zest, lemon slices, whatever you like!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

More Lemon Recipes For You

Print
Lemon blueberry cake

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 21 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sunshine-sweet lemon layer cake dotted with juicy blueberries and topped with lush cream cheese frosting. You can use either fresh or frozen blueberries in this cake. If using frozen, no need to thaw.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (345g) sifted all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest*
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 medium lemons)*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or frozen (do not thaw– 275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans.
  2. Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy – about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is completely combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then beat in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice *just* until combined. Toss the blueberries with 1 Tablespoon of flour and gently fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not over-mix. Over-mixing will lead to a tough, dense textured crumb.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer. Bake the three layers for about 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn’t make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
  7. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Bring frosting to room temperature before spreading as it will be quite stiff after refrigerating. (Add a splash of cream or milk to thin, if needed.) Frosted or unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature if desired before serving.
  2. Sheet Cake: The batter makes a perfect sheet cake! Simply spread into a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. It also fits nicely into a 9×13 inch cake pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Bundt Cake: I haven’t tested this as a bundt cake but it will likely be a bit denser than the original layer version since it’s one tall layer. It will take significantly longer to bake. I also have a lemon poppy seed bundt cake recipe. You can leave out the poppy seeds and add 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries. I also have a lemon berry yogurt cake recipe. You can use all blueberries.
  4. Cupcakes: Here is my lemon cupcakes recipe. You can add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter and top with cream cheese frosting.
  5. 6 Inch Cake: Use these lemon blueberry cupcakes batter and follow my 6 inch cakes baking instructions. You can use regular lemons instead of meyer lemons (like the cupcakes call for) if needed.
  6. Eggs: Room temperature eggs are recommended because they mix easily and quickly into the cake batter, reducing the risk of over-mixing (and an overly dense cake!). Place eggs into a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes before using or set the eggs out when you set out your cream cheese/butter for the recipe.
  7. Flour: Be careful not to overmeasure your flour. This will result in a heavy cake. For a lighter crumb, you can use the same amount of sifted cake flour instead.
  8. Buttermilk: Buttermilk helps produce a supremely moist cake. If you don’t have buttermilk, use whole milk instead. You can use lower fat or nondairy milks in a pinch, but the cake won’t taste nearly as rich and moist.
  9. Lemons: You need about 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  10. Cream Cheese: Use brick-style cream cheese. Not cream cheese spread.
  11. Cream: Heavy cream with 30% or more milk fat preferred in frosting for the most delicious and creamiest texture. Milk works in a pinch!

Keywords: lemon blueberry cake, lemon cake, cake, lemon

Here’s my recipe for lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting – a reader favorite!

Lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

938 Comments

  1. Sally-I want to make 1/2 recipe as there are only two of us and a whole cake is just too much! I searched your site for pan conversions and small cakes. Am I correct that I could use 3, 6 x2” pans for half this recipe? Dying to make it-our favorite flavors!

    1. That should work, Mindy. I hope you enjoy it!

      1. Thanks!!!

      2. Update! First of all, not only is the flavor of this cake incredible (perfect balance of flavors) I absolutely LOVED the texture. Some comment it’s too dense but to me, the cake had some “structure”. Agree, it’s not a “fluffy” cake but it’s not pound cake, dense, either. And very moist. I thought it was perfect. I made 1/2 a recipe and decided not to use 3 6-inch pans as I originally thought I might. Instead, I realized I could use a quarter sheet pan. Once baked and cooled I cut in three, 4″ sections “crosswise”. Used a pretty oblong plate to build the cake. End result is what looks like a long “loaf” cake (4″ x 12″). I love round cakes but these oblong cakes are easier to slice. This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. Thank you, Sally! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes

  2. Thank you Sally! One of my (and every one else I’ve made this for) absolute favorite cakes! It’s always a hit as well as all of your recipes I have made Question: I’m making the cake today for a fundraiser on Sunday. Wanting it to still be fresh for the buyer for several days after the fundraiser – should I freeze the cake for two days then frost on Sunday morning- or should I frost today and keep the cake in the fridge until Sunday? Thank you!

    1. Hi Peggy, I’m so glad this cake has been a hit! I would make and assemble the entire cake today and freeze the whole thing until Sunday. You can keep it in the refrigerator also but that would shorten the time after Sunday that it will still be fresh.

    2. Made this today and it’s great! What is the best way to store the cake? Fridge or leave on the counter? Thank you!!

  3. Hi Sally,
    I made this wonderful cake it was great! It did turn out very dense.
    I was wondering if you could or should add baking soda? I looked at your (modified from this recipe) straight lemon cake and it has it in there
    And according to your baking hacks it should be used if using lemon juice zest or other acids to help cakes rise.
    Thank-you

    1. Hi Brenda, If this cake turns out dense be careful not to overmeasure your flour. This will result in a heavy cake. For a lighter crumb, you can use the same amount of sifted cake flour instead.

      1. Thank-for response. I also made this with Splenda.
        Made my own powdered sugar with it also. Frosting and cake tasted wonderful.

      2. kuchenrolle says:

        Another possibility is that the cake was too cold. I went by weight and followed your instructions precisely, but when I served the cake yesterday straight after chilling in the fridge, everyone asked how much butter I put in and we agreed that it was way too heavy and dense. This morning, however, I ate a piece that I left on the kitchen table and it was perfect texture-wise.

        Despite all the lemon, it could be a bit less sweet. I’m thinking maybe some alcohol, more salt and something bitter could help cut through the sweetness. Maybe I’ll try that someday.

  4. The first time I ever had a blueberry cake was at a birthday party. I have NEVER been a fan of anything blueberry, but let me tell you this cake totally changed my mind! When I took that first bite I was like OMG THIS IS FANTASTIC!! I wanted to find a blueberry cake recipe and yours looked just like the one at the birthday party so I made it. Who ever made the birthday cake obviously used this recipe cause the taste is identical. Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Sally, I’ve used many of your recipes. They turn out wonderful. Thanks for the recipes.

    1. Thank you for the positive feedback, Mary!

  6. Do you think I could make this in a 9×13? If so what do you think the temp and baking time would be?

    1. I am wondering the same thing!!

      1. Hi Kim! Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.

    2. Hi Catie! See my recipe note 🙂 Bake at the same temperature for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.

    3. I’m hoping to make this cake this weekend. Any other ideas for the icing instead of cream cheese icing? I’m not the hugest fan of cream icing and some of my family doesn’t like it all. Wondered if you had other ideas for what would go with it?

      1. Hi Lita, You can just use my regular vanilla buttercream or for even more lemon flavor you can try lemon buttercream. If you are looking for something that isn’t as sweet then Swiss Meringue Buttercream would be perfect.

  7. Raymond G Call says:

    This is a five star recipe that allows for play and creative baking juices to run. I wonder if sweet juicy peaches would work? The butter and cream cheese base for the frosting was great. Even with the extra 2 tbs of buttermilk it was pliable and allowed me to add chopped walnuts. Would walnuts or pecans would have worked better? I was thinking of also using coconut unsweetened but the raw flakes. What your thoughts?

  8. Hi Sally, does this recipe really require 1 TABLESPOON of flour? I’ve never seen that before. I just wanted to clarify. As always, you are helpful and sweet! Thanks.

    1. The extra 1 Tbsp if flour is to toss with the blueberries prior to mixing into the batter to keep them from sinking. Though mine sank regardless.

  9. Dodie Melvin says:

    Sally, I made this cake – it is the most amazing cake I have ever made. Following your directions was easy. My neighbors gave it 5 stars, too.

  10. I am experimenting with gf flour, coconut flour AND almond flour. I see already that it will be dense…I will frost them, individually, and make changing in other time. 1/2 sugar was used with stevia…we shall see!!!

    1. *make changes the next time. 1/2 stevia, 1/2 gran sugar*

  11. Our family isn’t a fan of lemon but loves blueberries so converted this a little and added blueberry juice (from can of blueberries in muffin mix) in place of lemon juice and it turned out perfectly!

  12. Kelsey Palmer says:

    Can I make this recipe and cut out the lemon juice/zest. I just want a Blueberry cake.

  13. Honestly I am soooo excited to test try this cake! It is currently in the oven baking, but I tasted the batter and it is such a refreshing lemon cake! Also I added poppy seeds to it to make it pop more! I can’t wait to make it more often now up at the lake during the summer time!

  14. Hi Sally! When you say use sifted flour, do you sift first then measure the amount or do you measure 3 cups and then sift that?

    1. Hello Sally? Do you think this recipe would work if I substituted blueberries with huckleberries? Thanks in advance!

  15. What modifications, if any, do I need to make cupcakes with this recipe ? Looks delish, but a cake for just two of us is too much waste. Thanks! Love your tips and recipes.

    1. Hi Jane, The cupcake version of this cake can be found here: Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. Enjoy 🙂

      1. Thanks so so much!!!!! Going to try it this weekend hopefully.

  16. I made this cake and it was absolutely delicious. I’m grateful for sharing these recipes and this one in particular.

  17. I made this recipe and it was delicious. I used a scale to measure all the ingredients and the cake was still not as light and airy as I had hoped…much more dense so perhaps I over mixed the batter. Is this accurate…mix flour for only 5 seconds?

    n a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds

    Delicious and I will make again…I did add lemon zest to the frosting as well which added an extra kick.

  18. Jim Siewert says:

    As luck would have it I had all the ingredients on hand. This is an amazing cake for sure.
    Even my partner (who is not the biggest fan of traditional frosted cakes gave it a ten.)
    It is a simple recipe that requires some ‘do ahead’ busy work but comes together very
    quickly and the results are just perfect. Thank you so much Sally. This will be a repeat cake for sure! (Partner went to bed and I stay up much later and that cake is just about 15 feet away – NO – he would notice in the AM and this ‘stay at home’ is causing enough baking and cooking! There is always tomorrow. And the buttermilk biscuits are next!

  19. Hi Sally I’m making this cake but I don’t have a nine inch pan can I use a 7 inch and if I can how many do I bake and how long should I bake it?

    1. Hi Kayla, I have not ever baked this in a 7 inch pan so I’m unsure of the exact bake time needed. Only fill the pans 2/3 full and you will either have extra layers or you can use the leftover batter to make cupcakes.

      1. Ok thank you!

  20. Hi Sally! The cakes came out flat when I took them out of the oven… are they supposed to do that, or should they have risen and been a litter rounder at the top? Not sure if I did something wrong.

    1. Hi Linda, I made this cake yesterday and mine were flat as well. It tasted great though

    2. Hi Linda:
      Not sure if you did the say thing I did. When looking at the receipe I didn’t notice the butter (1 cup) amount for the cake is way on top. I put the butter (1/2 cup) amount used for the frosting. My first try my cake came out flat. I redid it in the morning with the right amount of butter and it cam out great (fuffy). That might be the issue.

  21. I first tried this recipe about 5 years ago, and it was amazing! It was my entry into baking from more than a box, and your detailed explanations and instructions have been invaluable in my journey to be a better baker. I’m making this for Easter since we’re self-isolating and can’t be with my family who has the traditional cast iron lamb cake mold, which is heartbreaking in several ways, but I’m so grateful for this cake and the newer memories it has for us too. Thanks, Sally!

    1. Hi Sally, does this cake need to be refrigerated or should it set out at room temp for a couple days after it is cut?

  22. Erika Calarco says:

    Hi Sally,

    I am getting ready to bake this cake now and I will be making a sheet cake. It doesn’t specify in the directions, so I was just wondering if I need to grease and flour the pan? I can’t wait to try this cake tomorrow for Easter. Thank you!

    1. Hi Erika! Yes, use a greased baking pan. I don’t normally flour my baking pans– I line them with parchment paper rounds instead. For a sheet cake, there’s no need since you usually serve out of the baking pan.

      1. Erika Calarco says:

        Thanks so much; it turned out great! Now my only problem is trying not to eat the rest of it by myself! Ha! 🙂

  23. I swear by a ton of Sally’s recipes although this is my first time leaving a review. THIS CAKE IS AMAZING. It definitely takes a few steps (looking at you, 3 cups of sifted flour with an ancient, rickety sifter) but it was completely worth it. Really moist and decadent, almost like a cake/lemon bar hybrid, which is perfectly balanced out by sweet blueberries and cream cheese icing.

    Thanks for another banger sally!!

  24. Hi Sally!
    Just wondering if I could use ricotta cheese in this recipe… and substitute with what ingredient?
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Jazz, You could make a ricotta and cream cheese frosting, but using it in the cake would require further recipe testing.

  25. Hi! I was wondering if I only have one 9 in cake pan, what should I do? is it possible to bake the cake in one pan and then slice it into 3 layers?
    Thank you!

    1. I’m making this now and only have one pan, so I baked one, turned it out to cool, and have a second layer in the oven now. Tedious but I think it’ll be worth it. Layer 1 looks amazing.

  26. Michele Sanchez says:

    This is the send year I have made this cake, last Easter my family loved it, took it to my in laws they loved it. This year I made it I’m memory of my mothers birthday, but I did a bunt cake instead of the round pan. I baked it exactly 1 hour. It came out perfect. Thank you for the recipe. Its the perfect introduction into spring.

  27. Can someone please answer the question about refrigerating vs. leaving it at room temp? It’s been asked a couple of times with no response.

    1. If you frost this cake with cream cheese frosting as written then it does need to be stored in the refrigerator. For more make ahead details see recipe notes.

  28. this is the first ever cake I have made from scratch and it turned out amaaazzinggg it was soooo insanely good-lemon and blueberry is the best combo. everyone who tried it gave me such props and was very impressed, we ate it all, and because of the fruity flavor it was very refreshing. The recipe was easy to follow and I loved the outcome, thank you!

  29. can this be put in a 9×5 loaf pan, like you would use for banana bread?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Raquel, If you would like to try making cakes in different size pans you will find my guide to Cake Pan Sizes and Conversions helpful!

  30. This cake is PERFECTION!! My boyfriend said it was the best cake I’ve ever made!! The cake is so moist and the cream cheese frosting compliments it perfectly!

1 15 16 17 18 19 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×